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Pho What Ails You

Photo by Christina Oxford
Photo by Christina Oxford

Sometimes I need a little comfort. I’m not afraid to admit it. The internet is filled with text about “not feeding your feelings with food,” and I usually agree. Eating a large bag of kettle chips will not make you feel better in the end (I’ve tried). However, when I’m feeling a little world weary, a bowl of soup can set me right on the path again. It’s a simple solution, and a generally healthy one. On those days, I turn to pho. The steaming, rich broth, clear rice noodles, and scent of fresh jalapeños, cilantro, and a generous handful of Thai basil give me pause and make me take my time (alternating between chopsticks and a spoon). In the land of shrimp and grits, finding pho, although it’s getting easier, can be a bit of a challenge, so I head north. North Charleston has some great ethnic eats, and Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant on Rivers Avenue is one of its most popular. The dining room is as democratic as it gets: business men in ties, soldiers from the nearby base, construction workers, the mailman, and me in the corner, slurping away. Here are three phos to try, and one cold dish as a bonus:

  1. Pho Dac Biet. Beef slices, tripe, and beef meatballs.
  2. Pho Tái Chin Nam. My go-to—sliced beef and brisket.
  3. Pho Tái. Sliced Beef.

BONUS: Bun Thit Bo. Cold rice vermicelli salad with lemongrass beef.

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